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Denton Ashway
For the Forsyth County News
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Forsyth County News
“Well, here we are again.”

Oh, no. Not that. Anything but that. Please. Maybe I heard that wrong. Maybe he really didn’t say it.

“Well, here we are again.”

Yes, he said it alright. Even AJC columnist Mark Bradley heard it. That’s how Georgia coach Mark Richt chose to open his post-debacle press conference after Saturday’s trouncing at the hands of mighty Florida.

“Well, here we are again.”

Nothing Richt could have said would have devastated me like those words. No other words would have delivered that just-kicked-in-the-stomach feeling.

To me, those words convey despair, hopelessness, utter futility; the final resignation that all is lost.


Forty falls ago, I was unfortunate enough to be a part of one of the worst football teams ever assembled. My legendary freshman football team in high school.    

We were beyond awful. We were God-awful. We compiled a perfect record. We played seven games and lost every one. We were outscored, 116-24.

At least we finished strong. We lost our final three games by a combined score of 48-0. We were inching closer to perfecting futility.

Need more proof of our ineptitude? Going into our final game, I had reeled off the longest run from scrimmage of our season. A rambling jaunt which lasted all of 13 yards.

I remember that run distinctly because I fumbled at the end of it. I got hit low left and high right simultaneously, and in an effort to protect the ball, I squeezed it.

Like a peach pit between thumb and forefinger, I launched the ball 15 feet into the air.

Sadly, my record was broken in the final game of the season, when a teammate exploded for a 22-yard run. But I’ve always put an asterisk beside that run, since we were losing, 30-0, and our opponent had already deployed its third string defense.

After our sixth loss, we shuffled into our locker room. While we weren’t too concerned with our latest loss, we were curious about what our coach might have to say this time. Certainly he had drained the barrel of post-loss commentary.

At last coach Zimmerman ambled into the middle of the room and mounted his soap box. Literally. He was only 5’7”, so he would step onto this wooden soap crate to be seen by all whenever he felt compelled to address his minions.

He stood there silently, looking over the entire room, the entire team, for what seemed like a quarter-hour. Finally his lips began to move, and the words were memorable.

“Well, here we are again.”

With that, he dismounted and exited the room, leaving us alone to contemplate his bizarre behavior.

That’s why Richt’s words haunted me so. He equated this Georgia performance, this Georgia season, this latest Florida failure, with the absolute worst football experience, and worst football team, that I have encountered in this lifetime.

That’s tough to take.

You can dress up a team any way you like, throw tradition to the wind, but you cannot disguise lousy coaching and abysmal play.

For two seasons now Georgia has performed well below its talent level. For two seasons, the Dogs have prided themselves on committing turnovers and penalties.

Saturday they did a brilliant job of sticking to the game plan: nine penalties and four turnovers.

Do you realize that out of 120 schools playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision, only one has a worse turnover ration than Georgia? As a Bulldog point of pride, Georgia is the only school ranked in the bottom eight that has won more than two games.

Georgia has fared better in the penalty yards standings. There they rank 115th.

Say whatever you want about the Dogs myriad other failures. Willie Martinez is either too nice a guy or in over his head as a defensive coordinator. Mike Bobo is either too inexperienced or too unfocused to adhere to a cogent game plan with his play calling. And is anyone coaching the lines?

Bottom line, this team is too poorly coached to protect the ball or refrain from committing penalties. That’s the horrible truth. And that’s a tough call. But after watching the same mistakes repeated through two seasons, it’s the only call that makes sense. The only difference between this year and last is that the Dogs no longer have several supremely talented athletes capable of overcoming those myriad miscues.

Every Georgia game is now eerily the same. The Dogs come out and destroy themselves.

Sadly, Richt had the refrain exactly right.

“Well, here we are again.”